|Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (let), in conversation with Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe and Deputy Principal of the UWI Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau, after the ceremony. (A. Miller/BGIS)|
Barbados has created history by becoming the first country in Latin America to undertake and complete a Green Economy Scoping Study (GESS).
The findings of that study were officially handed over to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, today, during the Caribbean Green Economy Forum at the Almond Beach Village.
Speaking during the official ceremony, Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, said the completion of the study was not the end of the journey, but another step along the way.
He added the study unearthed many useful opportunities for future collaboration which would be discussed during the two-day forum, hosted by Government and the University of the West Indies in association with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
"I eagerly look forward to the next phases of our work on the green economy," Dr. Lowe said, giving the assurance that his ministry would apply the same level of enthusiasm and dedication to further work to be done in the area as efforts are made to move Barbados closer to a green economy.
According to the GESS Synthesis Report, Barbados’ transition to a green economy offers opportunities for further diversifying its economy, increasing resource efficiency and supporting the goals of poverty reduction and sustainable development.
The study also pointed out that there are tremendous opportunities for greening agriculture, fisheries, building/housing, transportation and tourism.
However, it maintained that to maximise these opportunities, the country first had to address the challenges it faces in the areas of a lack of research and development in agriculture; standards legislation in fisheries; a lack of training programmes; regional experts in building/housing; public attitudes to green initiatives in transportation; the heavy dependence on imports, and low occupancy rates in the tourism sector.
|Prime Minister Freundel Stuart receiving a copy of??the report from Deputy Principal of the UWI Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau. (A. Miller/BGIS)??|
Among its recommendations were the establishment of an overarching institutional development programme to strengthen its agricultural cooperatives; adopting and promoting new energy and resource efficiency policies for hotels; and establishing new heritage and nature-based tourism sites.
In addition, the study has also recommended the development of an integrated public transportation policy and investment programme, and the establishment of a vehicle emission testing facility to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions.